Halong Bay, Vietnam

Vietnam travel guide


Vietnam is a country of contrasts and as such has something to offer every intrepid traveller. Tours in Vietnam may take in the beautiful sandy beaches of the south or the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay, the fertile lands of the Mekong Delta or the hill-tribe forests in the north. Ancient temples and pagodas stand side by side with vibrant city skylines while cities such as Hue and Hoi An have an old world charm all of their own. The cuisine is world famous, from steaming bowls of pho to delicate rice paper spring rolls, as well as baguettes on every corner and specific regional specialities that will delight your palate.

The Vietnam tour holidays offered by Encounters give you the chance to see the most important and historical locations and Vietnam culture tours are a great way to soak up the vast history of this country. It is less than 40 years since the American War and while the imprint upon the country is evident, the overwhelming feeling as you travel around is one of hope and positivity which may come as a surprise to many visitors. The north – south divide is largely still intact on a cultural level so a Vietnam tour that takes in both ends of the country is particularly interesting. The southern cities are generally seen as being more dynamic but anyone who has spent time in Hanoi can certainly vouch for how vibrant, busy and bustling the north can be!

City wise, Hanoi is the epicentre of the arts scene in Vietnam and the museums, theatres and shows offer wonderful entertainment. The local crafts such as lacquer work are intricate and beautiful and it is well worth spending some time exploring the shops and markets and the hand crafted goods on offer there. Many of the leading Vietnam tourist attractions can also be found in Hanoi, not least of which is the Ho Chi Minh Complex and Mausoleum. The Temple of Literature, dating back to 1070, is a fascinating place, and the Hoan Kiem Lake, including the Ngoc Son Temple in the centre, is another popular draw. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is the business hub of the country and also boasts many of the leading Vietnam tourist attractions, including the historic Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum which is a must for anyone with an interest in the history of this unique country. Vietnam culture tours would also encompass the Cu Chi tunnels and the city of Hue, rich in history and culture and boasting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Citadel.

Most Vietnam tour holidays would include the charming city of Hoi An, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This traditional town is famous for its tailors and visitors come from all over the world to get clothes made, from suits and silk ties to coats and fine dresses. Particularly renowned for its silk, Hoi An offers expert tailors making beautiful clothes for a fraction of the cost of elsewhere. It is also famous for its local dish Cao Lau, a wonderful speciality found only in Hoi An and made from noodles, pork and local greens – not to be missed!

Vietnam may boast some incredible cities but its natural scenery really is a thing of wonder. From the expansive paddy fields of the Mekong Delta to the jutting limestone cliffs of the world famous Halong Bay, there is always something to look and wonder at. Vietnam tours can encompass national parks and nature reserves, dramatic valleys and lush forests. From the soaring mountains to the beautiful sandy beaches of Nha Trang and Mui Ne, this incredible country remains remarkably unspoilt.

If you are interested in Tours in Vietnam, please give us a call at Encounters. We offer a variety of tours to suit different budgets and are passionate about this beautiful country.

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